With four decades working in the decorated-apparel business, Cheryl Griffin, of Bakersfield, CA, knew what she was getting into when she bought a single-head embroidery machine seven years ago and launched her own company, Griffin Graphics, out of her garage. “I try to stick with what I know,” Griffin says. “That’s embroidery. Rather than branching out, I keep going back to do embroidery. That’s what I know best.”
Griffin does an even mix of contract and retail work, and over the years, she’s been able to expand her small shop into a retail location, adding first a four-head machine and then a six-head. Each acquisition was facilitated through Beacon Funding’s lease-to-own program, she says. “I’ve been in the business long enough to know that leasing is the way to go,” Griffin adds. “I’ve known that from the very start. When I started on my own, that was the business plan I had in mind: lease to own and build from there.”
Griffin believes her loyal clientele stems from her commitment to quick turnaround times and high-quality work. She readily admits that she’s not the cheapest option for embroidery in her town, but customers are drawn to her professionalism and expertise. A steady increase in production volume has spurred Griffin’s equipment purchases. “The difference in the output comes from the equipment,” she says. “I could only do hats at the quality I’d expect on my four-head machine. I was limited when I would get a big 1,000-hat order. To do it only on the four-head limited the other projects I could take on. With the new six-head, I can do three jobs at the same time,” she says.